November 30, 2015


A couple of weeks ago we celebrated Uli's first birthday...just a small family gathering....

Our tradition (one I grew up with) of having a birthday table (always with some fresh flowers) has continued...since we have had Felix and Uli, we have also added the tradition of a balloon bouquet...always a hit with the kids :)

 Her cake was pumpkin with cream cheese icing...we kept the decorating minimal...I like to make cakes reflect what the kids are into...for his second birthday cake, Felix had a Thomas the train one, third was Curious George...and last year it was a construction site :) This year I might do a hot wheels's always so much fun...I am by no means a professional cake decorator...and they do not look like it either ha ha...but the kids love it and they taste good...always a plus!

When we first had Felix we sent out a birth announcement bookmark card...we never did anything like that for Uli...which I felt bad about. So a few months ago, we decided that we would do a special printed card for her first birthday instead...that way each of the kids will have a special print announcement card in their memory boxes. This was made by the Twisted Sister Etsy shop...and we LOVE it...we had a print done on the back as well.

All in all, it was a special day...Happy Birthday Uli Bear! <3

November 4, 2015

This moment...

This moment I am...

:: Trying to be patient with learning a new crochet project (beginner here and having a heck of a time figuring out instructions!)

:: Excited for this Friday...a day with Justin.

:: Sleepy, but happy.

:: Planning a 1st! birthday...already!?

:: Wanting to steal more chocolate from Felix's Halloween haul...but restraining myself...

:: Being patient with my little one while he learns to print his letters...

September 29, 2015

September 22, 2015

Little ways...

I know finances are usually a taboo subject, but I honestly think we need to talk about it more. It doesn't have to be details in numbers, but rather an awareness of how we spend our money and if we are being smart about it all.
Since October of last year, we have lived without credit cards or any kind of credit. We deal with cash only (or interact) and it has been so amazing and eye-opening.
You don't realize how much you rely on and abuse credit until you don't have to deal with it anymore. There has been some slight annoyances with going credit card less...such as booking a hotel and amazon shopping (why??? why do you not take paypal amazon???). Other than a couple of hassles though, it has been freeing.
Since October, we also made up a strict budget that we go by every month, which allows us to actually put money into our savings account every month....something we honestly have never been able to do much of at all. When we lived in Fredericton and we had our son, the whole postpartum depression really hit us hard all around....financially as well. Justin missed a lot of work taking care of us. Work was also hard to come by while we lived up there and did not pay well.
We are finally starting to hit a good stride financially again and it feels pretty damn good.
I thought I would share with you some of the things we do to save money in our household...

~ We make weekly meal plans (I just write one hot meal down for each day) and make a shopping list to support that list (checking our cupboards first to see what we have and can use up that week as well)

~ Try to make a few of those meals vegetarian to save on meat costs (spaghetti with just plain tomato sauce rather than meat sauce for example)

~ Keep your pantry, cupboards and fridge (anywhere food is kept) cleaned and organized. I wipe down and rearrange our fridge and cupboard every couple of weeks or when needed. This helps me see what we have when making up the meal plan and shopping list. It also helps to not waste food in the fridge that might get forgotten.

~ Old bread (we buy the baguette style or fresh loaves a lot) I turn them into croutons and keep them in a air tight jar. All I do is cut it up into bite size pieces, put in a bowl, drizzle some olive oil over it with some salt & pepper, garlic powder and other spices I feel like that day...spread out on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 350 until golden and crisp.

~ We make our own granola...the stuff at the store can be quite expensive....again, all I do is put some quick rolled oats in a bowl (about 2-3 cups), melt some butter and honey with some brown sugar in a pot on the stove can add nuts and seeds that you like to the oats....drizzle over the butter mixture....stir together.....spread on a parchment lined baking tray....bake at 350 until golden. Once it is cooled you can add dried fruits like raisins or cranberries etc... to it. Keep it stored in an air tight container.

~ School lunches for Felix are pretty much homemade things all around...I will buy the unsweetened fruit/veggie combo cups for him and yogurt...and I buy dark chocolate to put in as treats. Cookies and other treats I make homemade though, and I think that saves some money in the long run.

~ If bananas are nearing the end...I cut them up and freeze them for smoothies (I do this with other fruit as well).

Homemade granola bars (before being cut) for school lunches

~ We try really hard not to get take out, but also not deprive ourselves...we love's our entertainment ;) BUT it helps to keep track of these habits so you don't go crazy.

We do write down every single thing we buy in a month...even if it's a dollar stamp or a pop from the corner store...everything. Every dollar amount that comes in and goes out gets written down.

At the end of the month everything goes in it's certain category and gets totaled up (and then gets put into a spreadsheet on the computer where we can keep track month by month how we have improved etc). This just helps us become aware. I think being aware of where your money is actually being spent each month is HUGE....and a lot of people don't realize their spending habits.
We are guilty of it...I remember one month we were wanting to go out for food and we mentioned how good we've been this month with our take out budget, how we deserve this treat etc etc (this was near the end of the month). I quickly tallied our take out total for the month from our spending list and we saw that we had spent almost $200!!! that month already!!! (We didn't go out, needless to say) adds up so fast! We don't go to fancy places...but $25 here and $10 ice cream trip can add up so fast! (and can easily get forgotten!) So honestly, as annoying as it sounds, writing down everything helps so so so much!!! Trust me. Nothing makes you feel quite as ashamed as realizing that you spent $80 on family ice cream trips in one month (seriously).

I think I will end this post for now...but continue it another day with more ways I try to save money around the house and with our budget.

New Look...

I just wanted to say a quick thank you to Swiss Lark for bringing to my attention the lovely Angela from The Sunday Studio and her awesome graphic design Etsy Shop! 
I love how the blog looks after her was so affordable and quick! Makes it such a nice & fresh new space to work in...thank you! 

September 21, 2015

This Moment...

This moment I am...

:: looking forward to a sushi lunch date with my husband tomorrow (we have a 10 month old tag along, but you  take what you can get ;) )

:: grateful for the cooler weather...

:: So excited for Fall!!!

:: Getting ready for my mom's big 70th birthday this weekend...

:: Trying not to eat ice cream (it's calling to me from the freezer)...

:: Figuring out how to crochet a Christmas stocking...

Walking in an Autumn wonderland...

My favourite season is here!!!

September 19, 2015

Another Reason...

One of many butternut squash that we grew this year in our little rent-a-garden space...
Just wanted to share this article I came across a few weeks ago....
Wishing you a lovely weekend...

July 19, 2015


I'm 35 years old...I honestly never had expectations for where I would be at in life at this point. I mean, I hoped that I would be happy and stable, but actual goals ticked off...not really. I never felt crazy passionate about a certain career...I think every 9 year old wants to be a veterinarian when they grow up, right? More so in the last 5 years (since having kids...go figure) have we set a clear goal of what we really want out of life. The big thing being a move to Europe.
To further ourselves towards that finish line (and it seems oh so far away still) we gave up a lot...but we also gained a lot and are very lucky. I think I have gotten caught up in societal expectations since having our second child. With one child you can get away with being a bit topsy turfy still in your life...but once you have a second (I think) people start to expect things from you more. This is all my thinking really...I think I just feel this pressure to own a house and be settled somewhere have a career of my own. 
Justin and I had good long talk about all this lately (an ongoing chat I guess ;) )...we've just been struggling lately to just take a breath and enjoy the now (something we struggle with a lot)....this is our life right now....we are living it...we should enjoy it....and stop worrying about where we think we should be...where others think we should be in life...just be in the moment. 
We are lucky. We have a lovely (yes, cramped...errr...cozy!) rented apartment right downtown...a minute walk from an amazing cafe I work at with awesome people. Justin has a good steady job while he is looking for teaching work. Our children are crazy and healthy. We are healthy. We love each other...even on the hard days we can make each other laugh. 
We. Are. Lucky. 
...and I am thankful. 

I am actively going to rid myself of negativity when it creeps in my head...that is my goal for right now. Concentrate on us...the now. Be happy with what we have right now and stop constantly looking ahead and missing what is right in front of me. I know it sounds cliche because we hear it all the time, but it is so very true!

On that note...I wish you all a pleasant (and hopefully cool) Summer evening....

April 27, 2015

Still hoping...

 I just thoght I would give an update as to where we are at the moment for our moving to Switzerland. We are still hopeful...though some days, I must admit, I feel defeated...

We half hardheartedly applied to some schools this year (for August 2015)...not really making it a main priority for this year due to us having a new baby and also wanting to get some money saved up.

We have been feeling defeated due to the fact that teaching jobs (supply work to begin with) is beyond hard to come by here in Ontario at the moment. Pretty much all international schools in Switzerland want at least 3 years full time teaching experience on your resume to even be considered. It is beyond discouraging. We have been racking our brains on how to get the teaching experience that Justin needs. We are toying around with the idea of moving to the Yukon for a few years. We have done some research and found out that they actually hire full time teachers...the pay is excellent and the area is gorgeous.We did re-think London again to get the teaching experience since they also hire you on full time, but again, money was the main issue. If we weren't a family of four, it would work, but with kids, it just doesn't. The Yukon seems to have a lot of amazing opportunities, both professionally and for family life (lots of new hobbies etc). Housing seems to be really expensive (more than some of the places we looked at for Switzerland!), but it evens out with the pay.

We just want to keep moving forward to our goal of moving to Switzerland, and for that to happen, Justin needs full time teaching experience. If we do end up in the Yukon next year, we will embrace it for as long as we have seems like a beautiful stepping stone to our main goal.
It is exciting to have a possible new adventure on the horizon. We shall see what happens :)

Or maybe we will win a million dollars and be able to move to Switzerland without having to have work lined up already? ;) 

March 30, 2015

So close... actual Spring time....I can feel it! This photo is from about three years makes me hopeful :) 
With Spring comes a fresh new start....Spring cleaning and all that other fun stuff.
Plans are being put in motion...lots of fun stuff in the works for us this year and possibly next.
This August I will be taking a short course to become a Montessori teacher's assistant...I am super nervous and excited :) 
I don't plan on using my certificate right away, rather keeping it in my back pocket for when the kid's are both in school. It also might lead to more schooling possibly down the road in (hopefully) Switzerland. 
We are also planning a small weekend trip into Montreal sometime in July possibly. They closed down the Swiss consulate in Toronto last year, so we have to travel to the nearest one in Montreal in order to get Uli's passport. It will be a fun adventure...I have not been there since I was a kid and I don't remember any of it to be honest. 
I am looking forward to warmer weather in general...taking the kids on long creek walks and to the park has been so cold, wet and muddy. 
We are renting a garden plot this year in town (we live in an apartment, so no yard unfortunately). We ordered seeds from  Nimble NiteCap ....I am super excited for these lemon cucumbers to grow this year...apparently you can eat them like an apple? Never heard of them before, so I am super excited!

Image from Nimble NiteCap Etsy shop

Image from Nimble NiteCap Etsy shop

The Garden plot we are renting is local to us and is about 4x45 feet....which is huge! We have it for the whole year and it cost us only $30! We started some seedlings last week already. We had a rented garden plot in Fredericton when we lived there and loved it. I will definitely keep a little garden journal with photos on here this Summer of the progress. 
Here\s hoping to warmer weather and blue skies soon!

March 18, 2015

My breastfeeding journey...

So, when I had Felix, I tried breastfeeding. I fed him exclusively breast milk the first three days in the hospital. He wanted to be on me constantly....I remember feeding him for 12 hours straight in the hospital while my milk was coming in (so basically he wasn't feeding, more trying to get my milk to come in at that point). I was exhausted. Once we got home with him, it was the same (even after my milk came in)....constantly on me. I couldn't cope. We started supplementing with formula. With Felix I did a combination of breast milk and formula up until he was 3 months old, then exclusively formula fed him. That is what I needed to do to keep myself sane at the can read this post to get a better idea of what I was going through at that time.

I would like to mention at this point that I am pro feeding....breast, bottle, formula etc....whatever works best for you and yours! Let's just feed these babies!

This time around...I am exclusively breastfeeding (is it still called that when we also give her bottles of breast milk?)! It has been an interesting journey so far. 
I did supplement with formula about 7 different times in the first 3 weeks, but that is it. I had always read about "getting over" that initial hard bump of constant feeding and getting your supply established and not supplementing (because it can mess with your initial supply) etc... They say once you hit day 40, you will have established your supply (that will last throughout the entire breastfeeding journey). This actually happened for me! I stuck it out....I think it helped that Justin works nights, so I HAD to get up and feed Uli no matter what....Justin wasn't there to feed her a bottle of formula (and at that time I hadn't started pumping yet, or had enough to pump yet so no breast milk to bottle feed either). It was easier to have her on me when I knew I had no choice....I did have samples of formula in the house, and that is what I used in those first 3 weeks when I was literally weeping from exhaustion (and my midwife suggested it a couple of times when Uli hadn't pooped in a few days at the very beginning). It was definitely exhausting, and I was so sick of having someone on me constantly, but I am happy I stuck to is very easy now that my supply is established and that she only gets up once or twice a night now.

I think it was easier for me to deal with this time around because well, I wasn't dealing with post partum depression this time and I knew what to expect more (the constant feeding at the very beginning).

I am still not that comfortable breastfeeding out and about...I prefer to be covered and have privacy....just my judgement either way....we should all be able to do what is comfortable for us :)

Some things I found really useful to have around me those first 40 days (and now too) were snacks (easy to eat with one hand works best), lots of water, a phone/computer/book etc....some kind of entertainment for hours....lots of pillows to prop yourself up well and your don't want a sore back...and believe me, you will spend a long time sitting in one spot. A nursing pillow is super helpful!

 Pumping also helps bring up your supply in those early days...and helps you be able to build a supply for your freezer for later use etc... I bought the above....I got it on sale at Target for $ is just a single manual pump....and it works great for me. I had a super expensive double electric pump when I had also worked great. I didn't want to spend that kind of money this time around because I wasn't sure how long I would be breastfeeding for etc... This works well for me, I pump twice a day now purely for storage in the freezer for when I go back to work in September and will have to stop breastfeeding. I pump about 2 hours after Uli has gone to bed for her big sleep at night....she falls asleep around 8pm or 9pm and on a good night wakes around 4:30am. I pump around 10:30pm or 11pm both sides....I usually get about 5oz by pumping each side about 8-10 minutes.... after I feed her from one side at 4:30am for example, I will then pump the opposite side (and sometimes the one she just fed off of as well if she didn't feed a lot) \after I have gotten her back asleep. I pump for about 10 minutes and once again get about 5oz. I could technically pump after each feed the opposite side, but I prefer just to do this. They say early mornings are best for pumping large amounts.
My advice is to drink a ton of water always, this helps. I also made up a batch of lactation can find a ton of recipes online....main ingredient to look for is brewer's yeast....that helps with supply.

These are the freezer bags I use...very handy to have!

Nursing bras are important for your comfort and easy access for your little one! I found MilkFace to be a great shop for nursing bras. I bought both of mine there when I had Felix and I am using them again this time around.

 You will definitely want some cream on hand to help with soreness...especially at the very beginning when you are figuring out latch etc... I had a lot of pain and bleeding until I figured out how to get a better latch from Uli with the help of my midwife...she also prescribed what I believe might have been Dr. Jack Newman's ointment....which worked wonders!!! I used that and the above cream and they helped so much with pain etc.

 Some resources I found helpful: and

The point of all this was to just share my experience....and it is just mine....yours might be similar or completely different....and that is okay! I just wanted to show and honest look into the whole breastfeeding thing :)
Uli is just over 4 months now....I am not sure how long I will go with breastfeeding...maybe until 6 months, maybe right up until August (I go back to work in September)...we shall see!

January 6, 2015

What I'm Watching...

With a newborn comes lots of sleepless nights...and I have found myself watching lots of shows & movies lately to keep myself entertained (and awake) while breastfeeding my new demanding boobie monster...ahem.
We don't have cable...just a TV set up with a small DVD player...we like it that commercials to have to deal with, and we find that we don't just have it on as background noise. We just have some DVD's for Felix of shows/movies that he loves (and we loved as kids) and ditto for us. I mostly download shows and movies that I like.
Here are a few that stick out to me of late, that I really enjoyed watching...

 I LOVE Wes Anderson favourite being The Royal Tenenbaums...The newest of his films being The Grand Budapest is a tight contender for my favourite Wes Anderson movie now....I love the dialogue and as always, the movie's's beautiful.

Gorgeous cinematography...enough said. (beautiful story....okay, now I'm done)

Holy crap! Sooooooo good and funny!!! Definitely a must watch! I love their friendship...the dialogue between them is hilarious...and the mysteries will keep you guessing for sure.

This show I just find fascinating. I have always been intrigued by the whole upstairs/downstairs English hierarchy thing....if you liked the movie Gosford Park, you will love this show. 

Well, I am off to (hopefully) catch a bit of sleep...I hope this gave you an idea or two of something that might keep you entertained during the cold Winter months. 

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